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190 General Notes.
on one side. If it is placed upward, the respiration of the embryo
is hindered. The embryoscope can be turned up at any moment,
and kept upright for five minutes at a time without injury to the
With a little practice, the whole process of arming an egg with
the embryoscope may be completed in from six to eight minutes.
The embryoscope is well adapted for purposes of class-demon-
stration, for investigating the growth of the various parts of the
embryo, and the physiological processes during embryonic life, as
the action of the heart, movements of the body, etc. It is indis-
pensable to him who would study the effects of external agents
upon the embryos of warm-blooded animals; and must be of great
service where it is required to determine the precise stage of devel-
opment before removing the embryo from the egg. It has been
found useful in studying the formation of double embryos. Fene-
strated eggs have been successfully incubated up to the thirteenth
day, and it is probable that under favorable conditions the embryos
of such eggs would reach maturity.
On the fifth day, it is still easy to bring the embryos under the
window. On the sixth and seventh days, it is more difficult. At
this period the change in the position of the embryo, which requires
from five to ten minutes, should take place in the incubator.
After the eighth day, the embryo cannot be brought under the
window. If it be necessary to determine whether such an egg or an
older one still lives, we have only to leave the egg for several hours
in the incubator with the window directed upwards a little, after
which, by strong reflected light, one may readily see the blood
circulating through the channels of the vascular area.
PROCEEDINGS OF SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES.
Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. — Sept.
20, 1887. — Mr. G. H. Parker gave an historical sketch of investi-
gations upon the eyes of arthropods. Grenadier's theory of the
hypodermal origin of the retina, developed by involution, has been
borne out by later studies. From a study of the nerve distribu-
tion, the speaker believed the three-layered eye to be evolved from
that with one layer.
Mr. Meehan stated that in Mesembryanthemum and similar
plants, the glands of which develop in inverse proportion to the
roots, chemical analysis sometimes determines the presence of more
nitrogen than can be obtained from the soil. It was suggested that
the glands absorbed the gas from the atmosphere.
Mr. H. T. Cresson exhibited specimens of prehistoric implements
collected from beds surrounding what had probably been pile dwell-
ings on the mud flats of the Delaware, near Naaman's Creek.
Proceedings of Scientific Societies. 191
Professor Heilprin described the finding of the remains of a mas-
todon near Pemberton, N. J.
Oct. 18, 1887. — Dr. H. C. McCook gave an account of an Amer-
ican tarantula which must have been at least seven years old at
death, and stated that a queen of the fuscous ant, in the possession
of Sir J. Lubbock, died at the age of thirteen years.
Dr. Leidy described a collection of fossil bones from Archer,
Fla., and characterized Hippotherium plicatih, from teeth and ankle
bones, as a species of horse new to science.
Professor Ryder described a ring-like prolongation of the pla-
centa in embryo mice and rats, as indicating the descent of these
animals from lower types on which the placenta was zonary.
Oct. 25, 1887. — Professor J. A. Ryder stated his conviction that
the organ in the head of fishes, supposed by Wiedersheim to be the
homologue of the pineal gland, was really a portion of the lateral
line system, and thus derived from the skin.
Mr. Woolman described the deposits pierced by an artesian well,
1,100 feet deep, at Atlantic City. Thirty-one species, including
three sharks and a crocodile, were the fossil harvest.
Professor Heilprin stated that Perna maxillata found in the above
well at a depth of about 800 feet, in dark clay, indicated the base
of the miocene, while the Turritella found above indicated the
middle miocene. The speaker and his class had recently collected
several species new to the miocene fauna of New Jersey, including
three new to science.
Dr. Kcenig described a new variety of unisilicate of manganese,
and proposed for it the name " Bementite."
Dr. Leidy stated his belief, founded on examination of numerous
examples, that the brown hydra of North America is identical
with that of Europe ; and Professor Ryder stated that the marine
parasitic infusoria of the American coast were the same as those
Dr. Cheston Morris described certain Dorsetshire sheep which
seemed to be intermediate between the ordinary sheep and the goat.
Nov. 1, 1887.— Dr. H. C. McCook described the habits of For-
mica rufa, their mounds, their straight roads, etc. Atta fervens, a
Texan ant, constructs straight underground trails, sometimes for a
length of 448 feet.
Dr. Dolley spoke of the native cotton of Harbor Island, one of
the Bahamas. It is of a reddish buff tint, and is not attacked by
the cotton worm.
Professor Heilprin exhibited the mastodon remains found at
Pemberton, N. J.
Nov. 15, 1887. — Professor Ryder described certain improvements
in preparing tissues for the microscope. Soaking in celloidin and
then in chloroform enabled the most fragile structures to be
192 General Notes.
Nov. 22, 1887.— Dr. H. C. McCook described Oyrtophorabifurca,
a new orb-weaving spider from Florida.
Dec. 6, 1887. — Mr. Meehan called attention to the prolific
growth of interaxial tubers obtained from Dioscorea eburnea, a
Dec. 13, 1887.— Mr. W. H. Dall mentioned the finding of the
parasite Leucochloridum paradoxum in a Western species of
Jan. 24, 1888. — Professor W. P. "Wilson stated that the appa-
ratus for catching and assimilating insect food is much more effi-
cient in Sarracenia variolaris than in C. purpurea.
Dr. Horn exhibited a collection of May beetles, comprehending
79 out of the 81 species known north of Mexico.
Professor J. A. Ryder stated that the manner of cleavage of
the yolk in the eggs of lampreys and Batrachia differs from that
which obtains in osseous fishes, birds and reptiles.
Biological Society of Washington, 117th Eegular Meeting.
— Dec. 17, 1887. — The following communications were presented
— Mr. C. L. Hopkins, "Notes Relative to the Sense of Smell
in Buzzards ; " Dr. Cooper Curtice, " The Timber Line of Pike's
Peak;" Mr. Charles D. Walcott, exhibited a section of a fos-
sil Endoceras over eight feet in length, with remarks on the same;
Dr. Leonhard Stejneger, " On the Extinction of the Great Northern
Sea Cow;" Dr. C. Hart Merriam, "Description of a New Mouse
from the Great Plains."
118th Regular Meeting.— Dec. 31st, 1887.— The following
communications were read: — Mr. W. J. McGee, "The Over-
lapping Habitats of Sturnella magna, and S. neglecta in Iowa;"
Dr. C. Hart Merriam, " Description of a new Field Mouse from
Western Dakota;" Mr. W. B. Barrows, "The Shape of the Bill
in Snail-eating Birds;" Mr. H. Justin Roddy, "Feeding Habits
of some Young Raptores."